Trial Balance: Definition, Example, Purpose, vs Balance Sheet

Keeping the finances in order is a crucial aspect of any business. To do so, it is necessary to have a record of the financial transactions that took place within the business. The trial balance is an important part of this process and focuses on keeping all of the books in order.

The Trial Balance is designed to show any differences between debits and credits for each account in the ledger. It also shows how much money the company has at that current time, what is owed to it or by it, and if there are any problems with the books.

In this article, we will look at what a trial balance is, how it works, we will provide an example for you, and how it is different from a balance sheet. So if you want to learn more about trial balance, continue reading.

What is Trial Balance

A trial balance is a document that provides all of the balances for your accounts. This includes debits and credits from the general ledger, as well as sub-ledgers. For each account in the ledger, a trial balance will give an amount for both debits and credits. It allows you to see what money is available at a given point, what is owed to the business, and any problems with the books.

What is the purpose of Trial Balance

The purpose of the trial balance is to make sure that all debits equal credits for each account in your ledger. This helps you to see if there are any problems with the books or if there are any anomalies. If everything balances, then there are no issues with your bookkeeping, but if it doesn’t, then you need to find where the differences are.

In other words, the trial balance is designed to show all of your balances, so you can see what the company owns at that time, what it owes, and if there are any issues with the books.

How does Trial Balance work

Understanding how Trial Balance works is really simple. The trial balance works by taking all of your accounts in the general ledger, including the Sub-ledgers, and providing their balances. For each account in the ledger, both a debit balance and a credit balance are shown.

Remember that debts are when you take something away from an account’s value (such as money), while credits are when you add to an account’s value (such as receiving money).

Difference between Balance Sheet and Trial Balance

A Balance Sheet is a financial statement that shows a company’s liabilities, assets, and shareholder equity. It also shows how much a company owes and owns at a given point in time.

The differences between Balance Sheet and Trial Balance are as follows,

  1. A Balance Sheet shows what a company owns and owes, whereas a Trial Balance shows what is available to put into that balance sheet.
  2. The Trial Balance only looks at the accounts in the general ledger, while a Balance Sheet can include other classes as well.
  3. Only a Trial Balance provides the total of all debits and credits for each account in the ledger.
  4. A Balance Sheet is a financial statement, while a Trial Balance is a bookkeeping entry.
  5. Trial Balance is used only for internal uses, Balance Sheet is used for external uses such as investors.

Conclusion

The Trial Balance is a crucial part of keeping track of your company’s financial records. It shows the amounts for each account in the ledger, both debits, and credits. A Balance Sheet is also used to see what money is available at that time, but it includes more than just the accounts in the general ledger such as assets, liabilities, and equity.

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